Prices settle as rain limits potato lifting

By FWi Staff

RESTRICTED lifting as a result of the rain stabilised the otherwise volatile prices slightly this week, reported the British Potato Council.

Where harvest took place, loading into store took priority, resulting in tighter supplies. Demand was up slightly this week while loading pressure has been easier, and prices are firmer at the quality end of the market.

However, the bag trade has remained quiet, with poor samples easing further.

Bulk grade 2 dropped as low as £60/t, although most were at £80-£110. Grade 1 are steadier at £120-£140, but can fetch as much as £200/t for Piper. Whites range between £130-£180, while red are as high as £200 for King Edward.

Poor bag samples fell the most although most ranged between £80-£110/t. However, a boost was provided by best Piper at £135/t and Edward at £170/t.

Futures markets have been volatile this week but ended up with April 1999 contracts closing at £169/t in London and £110/t in Amsterdam by yesterday (Thursday).

The BPC weekly ex-average price plummeted £4.10 to £ 114.34/t. This compares to £64.60 in 1997 and £64.00 in 1996. When all processing purchases were excluded the ware market average eased to £124.28/t. This compares with £54.60 in 1997.

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